‘Elvis,’ ‘Abe Lincoln’ – Knox County VillageSoup

Elvis (Warner Bros., Blu-ray + DVD, PG-13, 159 min.). Basically, one either loves or hates a Baz Luhrmann movie and “Elvis,” which he directed and co-wrote with Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce and Jeremy Doner, is a very Luhrmann movie, starting with the removing diamond-encrusted logos to spin. like kaleidoscopes, then many partial screens – like eight at once – and montages that move the story. For this work on the life of Elvis Presley, Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “The Great Gatsby”) used the opinion of Elvis’ secret agent, Col. Tom Parker tells a lot of the story. Parker, who is not a colonel, Tom or not Parker, gives his side of the story, while near death, against the report and the books that discredit him. Parker’s carnival roots are emphasized as he believes “show business is an ice business.”

The film covers many of the highlights of Elvis’ life, focusing on young Elvis’ love of dark blues and gospel music, including his visits to Beale Street clubs. Luhrmann does a good job of bringing these first effects together in a thrilling performance of “That’s Alright Mama.” Beale Street visits with the performances of Big Mama Thornton (Shonka Dukureh doing “Hound Dog”) and BB King (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Gary Clark Jr. is still there. playing music in sequence.

Also covered is Elvis’s rapid rise to fame, including his controversial TV appearances, his roles in the Army and Hollywood (including fun movie soundtracks), his comeback TV special and his many weeks at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Austin Butler (TV’s “The Shannara Chronicles,” “Ruby & the Rockits”) is brilliant as Elvis, especially the younger Elvis, nailing every move and capturing the essence of a man full of emotions. talent must be expressed in person. and music. Butler sings the originals, while the later works are a combination of his voice and Elvis’ original recordings.

The reliable Tom Hanks plays Col. Parker with a lot of facial prosthetics and a cartoon of the South. Olivia DeJonge (aka “Will”) plays Priscilla Presley’s wife and gets the look down pat.

The first half of the movie is the best and keeps the viewer engaged. The last pages are a typical biography, but there are some great moments, including Elvis’ performance of “Trouble” which immediately starts a riot with his response and leads the police to pull him off the stage. As a result of the act, Elvis served two years in the army before going to prison for prostitution. It didn’t take two hours for Elvis’ heavy drug use to get into the story.

Bonus features include a look at the film’s origins with Luhrmann, who said it was a gateway to learning about America and popular culture, and actors Butler, Hanks and DeJonge (22:23 ); and look at other songs and performers (7:33), the style of Elvis (8:02) and recreating places in Australia (7:26). There is also a lyric video of “Belgium” and the ability to watch only 19 song examples (46:19) or visit them individually. Rating: 3.5 star movie; 2.75 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = average; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = good; Dog = skip it

Raymond Massey is the next president in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois.” Courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940, Warner Archive Collection, Blu-ray, NR, 109 min.). It’s more of a conventional biography, but again devotes a lot of time to the early days, including an unfulfilled romance with first love Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard), and devoting the last moment to the final Lincoln-Douglas debate. the film succeeds in being informative and entertaining. Also helpful is Raymond Massey (“Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Things to Come,” TV’s “Dr. Kildare”) who seems like he was born to play Lincoln.

The film was directed by John Cromwell (“The Prisoner of Zenda,” “Anna and the King of Siam”) and written by Grover Jones, who adapted Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Massey, who created the work on stage, received an Oscar nomination, as did cinematographer James Wong Howe.

The film shows all the weaknesses and strengths of the young man who grew up to become our 16th president. Ruth Gordon (“Harold and Maude,” “Rosemary’s Baby”) turns in a strong performance as wife Mary Todd, who drives and decides to make her husband president. The film jumps 16 years from their marriage to his presidential run. Gene Lockhart (an Oscar nominee for “Algiers” and the father of June Lockhart of “Lost in Space” fame) plays the antagonist Stephen Douglas.

One thing bothered me. Lincoln was about to debate the honor, but no details were given. The single is the April 22, 1940, Lux radio broadcast adaptation with Massey, Otto Kruger, and Fay Bainter (59:57). Rating: 3.5 star movie; again 2 stars

Blow Out (1981, The Ultimate Collection, 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray, R, 108 min.). Brian De Palma, writer, director, with political views, didn’t do well at the box office – maybe because of its effect – but it’s a very good movie, shown by the film’s Zapruder of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and a change in Michelangelo. Antonioni’s “Blow-Up” (1966), using only sound and film to prove the crime, and a recording of Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick incident in 1969 that resulted in the death of a politician.

This time, he is a politician, a shoo-in as his party’s presidential candidate, who dies in an accident, while his girlfriend Sally (Nancy Allen, then De Palma’s wife ) is rescued by Jack (John Travolta), a sound engineer. which recorded natural sounds. Jack believed he heard a gunshot before a tire exploded, causing the candidate’s car to go off the bridge into a ditch.

The opening of the film is a good “trick”, using a Steadicam, to see the identity of the killer who stabbed a guard, watch some kinky things happening in a girls bedroom then move to a girl taking a bath and pull the curtain. Alfred Hitchcock style.

We soon meet Jack, who provides sound effects for a Philadelphia horror movie studio. “Coed Frenzy” is the fifth film in two years that he has worked on, but they need to directly fulfill the cry of the victim and sound the new wind. So, Jack was outside typing the sounds when the accident happened. He later checks in with Sally — there’s great chemistry between Travolta and Allen, who previously worked together on De Palma’s “Carrie” — to see if she heard the gunshot. He then learns Sally is working for divorce investigator Manny Karp (Dennis Franz of De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill”) as a photographer to take incriminating photos.

In fact, there is a gun, and the real killer is Burke (John Lithgow, in De Palma’s “Obsession”), who starts a string of murders of Sally lookalikes in preparation to kill her. .

Also, Hitchcockian, and James Bond, a final elimination by Jack via a Mummers’ parade. De Palma often uses cut screens or two specific parts of the image to bring out more information.

Bonus material includes interviews with De Palma (57:48; 2010), Allen (25:25; 2011) and Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam (15:03). There is also a gallery of footage from Louis Goldman and De Palma’s 1967 experimental film “Murder a la Mod” (80 min.), about a low-key filmmaker (Jared Martin at work first, after the “War of the Worlds” of TV) and murder, with some fun film fun things about the character of Otto (William Finley, who also played the title character) too). The booklet has an essay by Michael Sragow and former New Yorker reviewer Pauline Kael. Rating: 4 star movie; new 3.5 stars

Snipe: The White Raven (Ukraine, Well Go USA, Blu-ray or DVD, R, 112 min,). The film, based on a true story, follows the transformation of a physics teacher into a successful sniper soldier after suffering a tragic accident in 2014 at the hands of an attack on the Russian soldier in Dumbas country. The film is the feature debut from Marian Bushan and stars Pavlo Aldoshyn as Mykola, the teacher/soldier. In the beginning, Mykola and his wife Nastya (Maryna Koshkina) are eccentric pacifists who have built an eco-friendly home on a hill (think of where Hobbits live).

As a result, Mykola was after a very skilled Russian sniper named Sery, who killed at least five Ukrainian snipers and three machine gunners. The film takes no time in Mykola’s sniper training, where his knowledge of physics comes into play for calculating the distance of targets. The package cover image is from near the final shot of the film. Rating: movie 3.25 stars

Tom Von Malder of Owls Head has been reviewing music since 1972, after graduating from Medill College of Northwest-ern University. He has been watching videos/DVDs since 1988.

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